US diplomat expresses concern over food shortages in North Korea linked to pandemic

US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Friday expressed concern over food shortages linked to the COVID-19 pandemic in North Korea following a meeting with South Korean officials, The Associated reported Press.

“We all feel for the people of the DPRK, who indeed face all of the most difficult circumstances given the pandemic, and what this means for their food security as well,” the second-tier US diplomat told reporters in Seoul, according to AP. . Sherman was referring to the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“We only hope for a better result for the people of the DPRK,” she said.

North Korean leader Kim jong unKim Jong UnXi, Kim pledge to strengthen North Korea-China friendship and cooperation North Korea reports “serious incident” related to COVID-19 North Korean state television acknowledges “l ’emaciated appearance’ by Kim Jong Un PLUS cited last year’s typhoon which affected crops; the pandemic that led to the closure of the borders between China and North Korea; and trade disruptions as the main reasons the country’s food situation has been “strained,” Reuters reported, although AP noted that no signs of massive famine or social chaos have yet been reported by organizations. exterior.

Talks with North Korea over the country’s nuclear missile program have stalled, and Kim said unless the United States sheds its hostile program, likely alluding to state-led sanctions. United, the country will continue to strengthen its nuclear weapons, AP noted.

In June, Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon said the country would not consider talks with the United States because “it would get us nowhere.”

“We are not even considering the possibility of contact with the United States, let alone having it, which would get us nowhere, taking only precious time,” Ri said, Reuters reported. , citing state media.

During Sherman’s meeting with South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun, they discussed ways to bring North Korea back to denuclearization talks.

“We look forward to a reliable, predictable and constructive way forward with the DPRK,” Sherman said, according to the AP. “We have offered to sit down and have a dialogue with the North Koreans, and we are waiting to hear from them. “

Sherman also said she will discuss North Korea with China when she visits the country on Sunday, AP reported.

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Louis Foulds

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